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  1. #1
    Two Tired Traveler
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    Great discoveries while touring

    Have you ever "discovered" a really cool local custom, food, drink, place, etc. while touring?

    For example, I've tasted a lot of little-known home-made wines in Italy, and I have my favorite food, ice cream, and coffee places up and down the Pacific Coast Highway.

    What serendipity have you experienced on a tour?
    Ride out and meet whatever limits you.

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  2. #2
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    Great topic!

    While participating in GOBA (the Great Ohio Bike Adventure) last summer we had layover in Wapakoneta. We had the usual map of tourist spots. One place not on the map that we learned about through word of mouth was a home with a yard full of stone structures and sculptures. I can’t begin to describe it and the pictures I took there don’t do justice to the space. We entered a back yard that opened up into another yard, then another space, and so on. Like another dimension. I found mention of this place when I got back home at www.narrowlarry.com/nltot.html. Most interesting was the gentleman who created the space came out to talk to our curious group of cyclists who wandered by. It was fascinating to hear about his work, philosophy, way or life. This was truly a lucky find and was in tune with the pace of our leisurely, seven day bike tour.

  3. #3
    jwa
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    35 yr-old discovery, while on tour w/ several fellow highschoolers: Mixing a can of (drained) fruit cocktail with a can of vanilla pudding makes a great dessert.

    Similar discovery several days later: mixing a can of fruit cocktail, with a can of pumpkin pie filling purchased because we couldn't find pudding, tastes awful. Really, really awful.

  4. #4
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    If you haven't been to Scotland and experienced Irn-Bru, why are you still alive?

    In New Zealand I discovered that scroggin makes a great post-ride snack.
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
    "We invite everyone to question the entire culture we take for granted." - Manic Street Preachers.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member jakuma's Avatar
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    Irn-Bru is basically liquefied baby aspirin that 'neds' drink in between hangovers.
    True bike touring is a lot of stopping

  6. #6
    Got an old Peugeot kipibenkipod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris L View Post
    If you haven't been to Scotland and experienced Irn-Bru, why are you still alive?

    In New Zealand I discovered that scroggin makes a great post-ride snack.
    What is scroggin?
    On the bike I feel like a conqueror ;)
    4 months touring trip from England to Spain http://www.underadometent.com

  7. #7
    Senior Member DuckFat's Avatar
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    From the wikipedia description it sounds like Gorp.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    While cycling around Lake Ontario, I stopped in Bloomfield, and discovered Slickers, which has the best ice cream in the world.

  9. #9
    Left OZ now in Malaysia jibi's Avatar
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    while cycling in Chile, The Cherimoya, or custard apple.

    We don't have them in the UK, mores the pity, they are very tasty..

    I think they have them in Australia, so I may be eating them again soon.

    george
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    https://sites.google.com/site/imjibi/home

    Photos of present tour of South East Asia
    http://picasaweb.google.com/georgeidf50/southeastasia

  10. #10
    Junior Member
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    It's difficult to beat Applestrudel served at one of the typical Alpine top restaurants in Switzerland, but a German bakery beside Lake Arenal in Costa Rica came pretty damn close.

  11. #11
    Eternal NooB threeflys's Avatar
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    While not discovered while cycling, it's hard to beat Cafe Du Mond in the French Quarter for their Beignets and coffee. BTW- Don't waste your time with any beignets not made in New Orleans, they're like frozen White Castles.....just not worth it!
    Chris
    If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire the A-Team.

    Litespeed Xicon with Campy Chorus 11sp/DT Swiss
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  12. #12
    Macro Geek
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    I happened upon two small rock shelters on a quiet road in Burgundy, France. They were from neolithic times. The site was marked on the Michelin map as having archaeological significance, which was the reason I chose that route.

    I think the shelters were 4000 -5000 years old. Astonishing to see something that old built by human hands!

  13. #13
    Bike touring webrarian
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    On my first bike tour of England, I saw a place called The Forest of Dean on the map and decided to ride through it. At the end of the forest is Symonds Yat, a spot in the Wye river with a 180 degree turn. It was a wonderful spot. I saw a Peregrine Falcon in the trees lining the hills. It was pure serendipity.

    Ray

  14. #14
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kipibenkipod View Post
    What is scroggin?
    It's basically a mix of dried fruit, nuts and chocolate. I've been thinking of going to a local supermarket and getting the ingredients to put together some of my own to take on some weekend tours later in the year.
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
    "We invite everyone to question the entire culture we take for granted." - Manic Street Preachers.
    My blog.
    My bike tours. Japan tour page under construction.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Newspaperguy's Avatar
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    For colourful little towns, it's hard to beat Chemainus on Vancouver Island. This is a small town with some amazing murals on its buildings. There's also a park with an amphitheathre. In summer and on weekends, there's often entertainment in this park. It's a good place to sit and rest for a while — or to stop nearby for the night.
    Life is good.

  16. #16
    Banned.
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    While passing through the hills of Kentucky a man might consider himself enlightened by stopping in an owner named general store (Kenny's Market, etc) and purchasing a locally made softdrink called Ale8-1. It is quite addictive.

  17. #17
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Way too many to mention but one that comes to mind is the sticky pecan rolls from a Mennonite bakery in the back of a cut-rate grocery in Montana (in Rawlins, maybe?). They were simply perfect.
    Last edited by staehpj1; 09-26-07 at 06:13 AM.

  18. #18
    Macro Geek
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    Earlier this month as I travelled along the south shore of the St. Lawrence River, I found myself in Montmagny, Quebec, smack in the middle of "Le Carrefour mondial de l'accordéon" -- "The World Accordion Meeting."

    The town was packed with visitors and musicians from around the world. There were non-stop accordion performances along a street that had been closed to traffic, in parks, and on street corners. In restaurants, patrons were serenaded by accordion players. Plus there were amazingly talented musicians playing other folk instruments, and traditional Quebec dancers.

    http://accordeon.montmagny.com/carre...?ArticleID=135

  19. #19
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
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    Sure. Riding on the Sparta-Elroy trail in SW Wisconsin, there is a pie shop called Pi-R-Squared right off the trail. All the cyclists stop there. They have something like 15 different kinds of fresh made pies. We made a couple of stops there that week.

    My favorite stops, in general, are mid-morning breakfast breaks my brother and I take while on cycling tours. We generally start early and try to find a nice, local diner in a small town around 10 a.m., after we've ridden 30-40 miles or so. Usually I get pancake with fruit, but sometimes eggs. We try to stick to local restaurants rather than chains like Micky Ds.

    Most of the bike tours I've ridden have some quirky stops along the way. One, somewhere up in Wisconsin, was a lawnmower graveyard. Not sure what that was about.

    On GOBA, we stopped at what was supposedly the last remaining shop that made hand-blown glass garden globes. That was cool, but you couldn't exactly buy one and carry it on your bike.

  20. #20
    CroMosexual purevl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Servo View Post
    purchasing a locally made softdrink called Ale8-1. It is quite addictive.
    +1 on the ale8

    when i was living in hawai'i my friends would send me six-packs. if you are much west of lexington it gets harder to find, on the bright side though ski becomes more readily available. ski is a soft drink similar (but superior) to mountain dew, they used to bottle it in greensburg but now the closest distributors are in illinois i believe. regardless it's good to hear that someone discovered ale8, we really do make the finest beverages in the world here in ky

  21. #21
    Senior Member
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    The best places I've ever discovered while riding... bus stops perfectly situated just before a storm's gonna begin! haha

  22. #22
    Wes
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    In Hermann MO, it's on the Katy, there are about a dozen Wineries. Better plan on staying the night.

  23. #23
    My tank takes chocolate. FlowerBlossom's Avatar
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    Whipped cream filled dark chocolates in Belgium. Not those stiff cremes we get here. Real whipped cream. When you bite on the outer chocolate, it collapses from the pressure and the whipped cream 'poofs' out into your mouth, light and fresh. Genius, pure genius.
    Feminism is the profound notion that women are human beings.

  24. #24
    Senior Member ilmooz's Avatar
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    My latest discovery from a few weeks ago happened while traveling through Highland Park, Illinois when I stumbled upon Cameron's house from "Ferris Bueller's Day Off", the famed launching point of the vintage Ferrari crashing through a window and into a ravine.

  25. #25
    Too old & too big
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris L View Post
    If you haven't been to Scotland and experienced Irn-Bru, why are you still alive?

    In New Zealand I discovered that scroggin makes a great post-ride snack.
    I lived in the UK for 6 years ... now back in the USA. Irn-Bru is definitely an acquired taste. One that I never acquired while I lived there. It's like gasoline ... with a touch of orange. That said, I grew to really like marmite, so I guess I have no taste.

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